82 Days: A Look Back At The Journey of Amara Darboh

With 82 days until the 2016 Michigan Football season begins, we recognize a current player on the roster and great story, Amara Darboh.The 6-foot-2 Sierra Leone native became a U.S. citizen on September 24, 2015, in Detroit, but the path to get where he is today was far from easy.

His journey starts from war-torn Sierra Leone when he was very young with his family leaving for Gambia. In the first five years of Darboh’s life, more than 35,000 people were killed in that civil war, including Darhoh’s parents. A group of Darboh’s relatives escaped with him traveling on foot to Gambia and Senegal before getting the chance to move to the U.S. in 2001.

He ended up in Des Moines, Iowa, where a Christian group sponsored Darboh’s remaining family putting them in a home.  He was seven years old when his athletic ability quickly caught the attention of area sports coaches earning him a scholarship at eight years old to play Little League baseball. On that team he met a boy named Max Schaefer, and their friendship grew from there. Max’s father Dan Schaefer coached most of their childhood sports teams, and Darboh moved in with the Schaefer family the year before sixth grade.

He was legally adopted by the Schaefer family when he was 17 years old. His African relatives in America knew that the Schaefer’s could give Darboh the opportunities he needed to take full advantage of his athletic talents. He was given the opportunity to play for Michigan and leads us to the present.

His 2015 season, as a popular target for Jake Rudock, ended with 58 catches for 727 yards and five touchdowns. His one handed catch against BYU was one of the most impressive in college football last season. He continued in the winter practices with an amazing catch that caught the attention of many.

The next starting quarterback this season will have several targets, but Darboh will defiantly continue to be one of the most popular. His amazing journey and talent as an athlete has given him the opportunity to play for Michigan, but also the chance to become a U.S. citizen.

Go Blue!

David Noe